So when is the right time to think about the future?
The answer is that it’s never a bad time to think about your future. After all, you’ve been thinking about it since you first began to walk and talk. Sure, back then you might have wanted to be a superhero or a princess … maybe you still do, but you might want a back – up plan just in case that doesn’t pan out.
It’s also good to have a backup plan if you want to work in a field that is very hard to break into. For example, you may want to be an actor, but you may need to have something else planned in case you don’t find work right away. And if you’re an athlete and have dreams of becoming the next star in your sport, that’s great, but not all great high school athletes are able to make it to the next level – and there’s also many, who, maybe because of injury, never realize their full potential. Again follow your dreams, but also think about what else you’d live to do if your first plan isn’t working out or is taking longer than you thought it would.
So as you mentioned earlier, it’s never a bad time to think about the future. Especially if you’re in your last few years of high school, it’s probably a good idea to at least start thinking about what you want to do for a career. Obviously life can take sudden and unexpected turns and what you think you want to be today might change many times before you settle on an actual career – that’s okay. Sometimes you need to do something you thought you wanted to do, just so you can realize that maybe it wasn’t quite what you expected … that’s fine – only through experience can you realize these things.
There was a time not long ago that a person’s first job was their one and only job – the one they’d hold their whole lives. Chances are your grandparents or great – grandparents may have held one job until they retired. But times have changed; nowadays, a person may hold more than half-a-dozen jobs throughout their adult working lives. Whether you work one job your whole life or several, you want your work to be meaningful to you. That’s why even if you’re not anywhere near the age of having a career, it’s a good idea to think about the kinds of careers you’d love to have.
One of the best ways to get exposure to work is through volunteering. While between all those school and extra-curricular activities, it may be difficult to fit in volunteering. It’s one of the best ways to determine where your passions lie.
If you love working with and helping people, consider volunteering for a charity or non-profit agency. Volunteer as a Big Brother or Big Sister, or at the local pet shelter. If your time is really limited during the school year, consider volunteering during slower times, such as Christmas break (this is an especially busy time at food banks, soup kitchens, and at agencies that distribute toys to needy children). If you love performing, consider trying out for a school play, or volunteering with a community acting troupe. If you love nature, consider volunteering at a park or nature reserve, join a conservation group or take part in a local park cleanup day. If you are thinking about becoming a politician, volunteer with a politician campaign. This way, you can learn all about political process and what a politician needs to try and get elected. If you are interested in the medical field, volunteer your time with an agency that represents the needs.